Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reading, Writing and Arithme-tickles

Gotta Go Now. Kindergarten must be a very full day. "Mommy," 5-year-old Mary Ashley began breathlessly, "I am so busy at school that when we have bathroom time, I'm the last one to have a turn, so I just walk in, flush the potty and wash my hands!"

Top of the Class. When 7-year-old Christian learned he had been invited to spend the night with his best friend, Gavin, he said he hoped he would get to visit Gavin's mom's school during the visit. Was it the private school's cutting-edge technology, extensive library or awesome playground that made a visit so enticing? No, the reason Christian hoped to spend his Saturday at school: "Mrs. Lyle has hand sanitizer that smells like strawberries!"

After-School Special. When Carson started first grade, I was eager to hear every detail about his first day in public school. That afternoon I popped popcorn in anticipation of settling into a comfy spot together to look over his school papers. "OK, Carson," I began, popcorn bowl in hand, as he took off his backpack, "I want to hear all about your first day of school, so where do you want to go to tell me about it? We can go wherever you want." He was quiet for a moment, then thinking of my sister who lives nearly 5 hours away in another state, said, "Aunt Jennifer's!"

When Push Comes to Shove. When our nephew, David, started preschool, he came home proudly announcing, "I push Ella!" My sister and her husband reminded David that it's not nice to push, but each day David boasted about pushing Ella. They grew concerned about this aggressive behavior until David's teacher told them how sweet it was to see the two little friends on the playground taking turns pushing each other on riding toys.

Color Me Bashful. When Carson was in preschool, he saw one of his classmates eating with her family at a local restaurant. With her pretty face and long brown hair, 5-year-old Carson thought little Sydney was the prettiest girl in the school. Carson wanted to say hello and started walking toward her table, but he stopped a few feet away, unable to move or speak. He stood there --paralyzed with fear -- for several seconds. Finally, unable to bear his older brother's discomfort a moment longer, 3-year-old Christian yelled across the crowded restaurant, "Carson, ask her what her favorite color is!"

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